Here are this week's top pieces of financial news and advice:
The health benefits of saving
We all know savings are important for your financial health, said Dan Kadlec at Time. But a "sleeper benefit" might be better physical health, too. A survey conducted by global financial services firm Aegon found that 75 percent of habitual savers "rate their health as excellent or good." Only 62 percent among those who do not save regularly said the same. It might have something to do with "the lower stress that comes from being financially secure." Of those reporting "excellent health," 77 percent said they expect to "live comfortably in retirement," compared with just 49 percent of respondents who reported poor health.
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Home insurance should-haves
Will your homeowner's or rental insurance policy adequately cover your costs should disaster strike? asked Cherice Chen at USA Today. It's a good idea "to dust off" your policy once a year to make sure. Two-thirds of houses in the U.S. are underinsured, and 60 percent of renters don't have insurance at all. Standard policies typically cover basics like "fires, explosions, and theft," but experts recommend add-ons to cover common gaps. Flood insurance, for instance, averages $650 per year. It can cover the structure of your home up to $250,000 and its contents up to $100,000. Sewer backup coverage can be added for $40 to $50 a year. Replacement cost coverage can help you pay for damaged or stolen property at today's prices, without depreciation. Finally, umbrella liability can protect you from lawsuits. A $1 million policy averages $150 to $300 per year.
Managing Medicare costs
Medicare's premiums, deductibles, and co-insurance can add up, said Emily Brandon at US News. But there's "a lot you can do" to keep costs manageable. Pay close attention to enrollment dates to reduce your premiums over the long term. Medicare Part B's initial enrollment period is "a seven-month window" that starts three months before your 65th birthday. After that, Part B premiums increase 10 percent for each 12-month period you were eligible but didn't sign up. Supplemental insurance, known as a Medigap policy, can help pay costs Medicare doesn't cover. The initial enrollment period is the first six months you are older than 65 and enrolled in Medicare Part B. After that, you may be denied Medigap coverage "or charged significantly higher premiums."
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